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More Than Add-Ons: Why Integrations Need to Go Beyond the Ledger

21st Feb 2024
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In the post-cloud accounting world, integration is power. Cloud accounting platforms like Xero, QuickBooks, and Sage have flourished, partly due to their ability to connect with third-party tools, opening up more integrated, efficient, and accurate workflows.

Why Integrations Need to Go Beyond the Ledger
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However, as tools advance, it's becoming increasingly clear that the potential of accounting tools extends well beyond traditional ledger entries.

By expanding the net for integration, tools such as Receipt Bot enable accountants and bookkeepers to create end-to-end workflows that move data seamlessly between systems, with less manual work, reduced risk of error and more flexibility in how and where they service clients.

1. HMRC Integration and VAT Submission: Streamlining Compliance

A significant – and frankly inevitable, advancement in accounting workflow is the HMRC integration, particularly relevant in the context of Making Tax Digital (MTD) and MTD for VAT. In compliance work, all roads lead to HMRC, and making that road digital makes the process much more convenient and efficient.

Receipt Bot has built a direct integration with HMRC, allowing users to submit their VAT returns directly within Receipt Bot and eliminating the need for additional software like Xero or QuickBooks for smaller clients. 

The reason is that users, especially those managing smaller businesses, find it time-consuming to navigate multiple systems. Receipt Bot’s integration simplifies this by offering a single, unified platform for all VAT-related processes, without relying on bridging software for submissions.

With the ability to prepare VAT summaries directly within Receipt Bot, including configurable options for users to define their VAT return parameters, accountants can simplify processes for lower-cost, lower-margin clients, enabling them to offer digital tools to more businesses without worrying about software overheads.

2. Evolving Storage Solutions: Catering to the Digital Document Era

In today's digital-first world, many businesses quickly end up with documents in multiple places from multiple sources. That’s where, as an accountant, the ability to upload documents through various channels like mobile, web, email, or cloud services like Dropbox can make a huge difference.

Instead of manually downloading, saving, labelling and uploading documents one by one from a number of different repositories, accountants can use a centralised platform to pull in all the information they need for a particular client.

Receipt Bot allows users to effortlessly upload and manage documents from multiple sources, ensuring a single, fully organised document management solution. This integration is not just about convenience; it's about adapting to the evolving nature of document management and ensuring that every piece of financial data is captured accurately and efficiently.

3. Managing the ongoing role of Excel

Despite the advancements in accounting software, Excel remains a cornerstone for many accounting practices, especially when it comes to data review and analysis.

The compatibility of accounting tools with Excel is, therefore, a critical feature. Ensuring that your data capture and processing can seamlessly export to and import data from Excel in the correct format is key to managing processes such as management accounts, forecasting and cash flow analysis.

This compatibility allows accountants to leverage Excel's powerful analytical capabilities, making it possible to perform in-depth financial analysis, budget forecasting, and scenario planning using your ready-digitised, accurate information. Receipt Bot accurately and efficiently converts data from paper and PDF documents to Excel in easy to use formats. Accountants can use this feature to bridge the gap between advanced accounting software and the tried-and-tested utility of Excel.

Integrating your workflows for greater value

One key aspect of achieving true digitisation is expanding the scope of accounting software integrations beyond traditional ledger connections. Instead of thinking of non-ledger tools as simply ‘add-ons’, Receipt Bot is building a distinct role within the value chain by integrating with platforms. That streamlines workflow and helps continue the elevation of accountants from data handlers to strategic advisors.

By harnessing the true power of integrated tools, accountants can unlock new levels of efficiency, accuracy, and strategic insight, ultimately driving the success of their practices and clients alike.

To find out how you can create a connected, value-driving workflow for any client without manual data work, sign up for a free trial of Receipt Bot today.